Dr. Mary De Vera wears blue at her UBC office to mark the beginning of Colorectal Cancer Month in March. Her research funding runs out at the end of the month and she needs more Canadian patients and survors to take the survey. (Twitter)

Colorectal cancer researcher needs more B.C. survivors

UBC’s Mary De Vera seeks answers after her own recovery

Dr. Mary De Vera has a research grant to study one of the most common types of cancer in Canada, and personal experience of its effects to motivate her search for answers. Now all she needs is the experience of a few more colorectal cancer survivors, via an online survey.

An assistant professor of pharmaceutical science at the University of B.C., De Vera is part of a team working to fill the information gap on colorectal cancer, which hasn’t had the attention of more familiar types of the disease.

After undergoing treatment herself after being diagnosed in 2016 at the age of 36, and finding a shortage of information on treatment, De Vera launched the survey of patients, which has had more than 1,000 responses since late last year.

The survey is open to anyone who has ever been diagnosed with colon or rectal cancer and is above the age of 18. Grant funding runs out at the end of March.

“There is ample information to support patients who are diagnosed with breast, prostate, lung and other forms of cancer, but there is very little readily available information for those who have colorectal cancer,” De Vera said. “We have had a good response internationally to the survey, however with less than 200 Canadian respondents, we need more Canadians to help identify what type of information patients need and the best way to get that information.”

READ MORE: Cancer Society stops collecting hair donations

READ MORE: B.C. Cancer Agency studies new blood test

The Canadian Cancer Society says colorectal cancer is the second most common type in Canada. The nearly 27,000 people diagnosed in 2017 represented 13 per cent of all new cancer cases. The B.C. Provincial Health Services Authority estimate for 2018 is that 3,720 B.C. residents would be diagnosed, and 1,290 would die from colorectal cancer.

De Vera was diagnosed shortly after the birth of her second daughter, with a promising career in medical research ahead of her. She spent the next year undergoing five weeks of chemoradiation, two major surgeries and four months of chemotherapy.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislature

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Influx of cross-border visitors to Peace Arch Park sparks concern COVID-19 could spike

Police, parks officials say patrols, education and signage have all been increased

North Delta crime beat, week of May 17

A selection of property crimes submitted weekly by the Delta Police Department

COLUMN: For real leadership amid crisis, look west of Scott Road

Delta council, under direction of Mayor George Harvie, defines leadership during pandemic

UPDATE: Funding announced for pair of North Delta salmon conservation projects

Grants for Cougar Creek-related works by Burns Bog Conservation Society, Cougar Creek Streamkeepers

Delta playgrounds, basketball hoops, reopening June 1

Skate and bike parks in the city were reopened last week

Only four new COVID-19 cases, 228 active across B.C.

Health officials watching as activities ramp up

Feds looking at ways to reunite families amid COVID-19 border restrictions with U.S.

Some families with members of dual-citizenship have become separated due to the pandemic

Condition in kids with possible COVID-19 link being studied in Canada

This month, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued an alert to doctors about MIS-C

‘I knew what he wanted’: Kootenay man spends hours in tree as black bear patrols below

Francis Levasseur is no stranger to the outdoors, but a recent run-in with a bear caused quite a scare

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

Importance of accurate, ethical reporting more critical than ever

COVID cancelled their wedding plans, so they married on a BC mountaintop

Ceremony was live streamed to friends and family around the world

Trudeau acknowledges racial unrest in U.S.; ‘We also have work to do in Canada’

‘Anti-black racism, racism, is real; it’s in the United States, but it’s also in Canada,’ Trudeau says

State of Local Emergency declared for Boundary as communities brace for river flooding

Warm weather and heavy rain could cause sections of Kettle River system to swell beyond 2018 levels

Large cruise ships barred from Canadian waters until end of October: Garneau

Last year 140 cruise ships brought more than two million visitors to Canadian ports

Most Read